Carlos Alcaraz discusses ‘special’ French Open win, Olympic success and plans for new tattoo


As a child, Carlos Alcaraz I used to run home from school to watch a movie French Open I am watching on TV and dreaming of one day playing on the clay courts of a tournament and becoming a champion.

The dream became a reality on Sunday when the Spaniard defeated the world number four. alexander zverev He won his third Grand Slam title by defeating the 21-year-old 2–1 in five sets.

In a courageous and often unpredictable performance on Court Philippe-Chatrier, Alcaraz showed his typical fight and resilience against Zverev, coming back from two sets to one down to become the youngest man to win major titles on clay, grass and hard courts.

“Honestly, first of all I’m tired,” said Alcaraz CNN Sport “It was really tough,” said Amanda Davis the day after winning her first title at Roland Garros. “It’s a dream come true for me. I really wanted to lift this trophy one day, and to be able to do it now is a great feeling.

“I’ve been watching this tournament since I was five, six years old … to be in this position right now is pretty special,” he said.

With Alcaraz’s latest success comes yet another tattoo.

He already has the dates of his Grand Slam victories at the US Open and Wimbledon tattooed on his skin – along with the strawberry that has become synonymous with the tournament – and now he plans to get the Eiffel Tower and Sunday’s date on his left ankle.

Yves Herman/Reuters

Alcaraz celebrates with the French Open trophy.

It seems a fitting choice: after his win in the City of Light, Alcaraz shared a Old photo In the photo of himself as a 12-year-old, he was watching the tournament on a big screen in the shadow of the Paris landmark.

Is he worried he might not have room to play, should he win more Grand Slam titles?

“If it happens it’s good news,” Alcaraz said. “I told my family and my team that this is going to be the first Grand Slam. If I win another French Open, I won’t get a tattoo.”

With his win over Zverev, the world number two joins a long line of Spanish men to have won French Open titles. Rafael Nadal leads the way with a record-breaking 14 titles, while Juan Carlos Ferrero, Albert Costa, Carlos Moya and Sergi Bruguera have all been champions since 1993.

“I really wanted to get my name on that list,” said Alcaraz, now trained by 2003 winner Ferrero.

The Murcia native withdrew from the Italian Open because of a hand injury suffered before this year’s French Open, but has exceeded his own physical expectations over the past two weeks, winning four of his seven matches in three sets.

Only against Zverev and new world No. 1 Jannik Sinner did Alcaraz go the distance – the first man in the Open Era to win a French Open final and semi-final in five sets.

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Alcaraz and his team pose for a photo in the locker room after winning the French Open.

After losing the third set against Zverev and squandering a 5-2 lead, he had to harness his energy and increase his intensity, sprinting around the court and chasing every shot.

There were two highlights – the so-called “banana” forehand made famous by Nadal in the fourth set – and a superb backhand passing shot when Alcaraz looked certain to lose a point in the deciding set.

“If I lost, I would have fought until the last ball, run and play my best tennis,” he said. “That’s all I thought about at that moment: to keep trying to find a solution.”

Alcaraz’s focus now turns to Wimbledon, where he will defend his title, which he won in dramatic fashion. Novak Djokovik last year, and then the Paris Olympics, which would mean a return to Roland Garros.

There, he is hoping to play doubles with Nadal – in what will likely be one of the 22-time Grand Slam champion’s final tournaments – as well as win a gold medal in the singles competition.

“I won Roland Garros and I’m going to the Olympics,” Alcaraz said. “I’m going to try to win both.”


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